Landrum triple murder: 2 arrested in FL

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SC (WSPA) - Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright says two people arrested in connection with a murder in Florida have been charged with the murders of three people at a home in Landrum.

According to Sheriff Wright, 31-year-old Christopher Taylor and 36-year-old Kristina Sluss were arrested following a separate murder in Polk County, Florida.

Taylor and Sluss were two of three people who were arrested in connection with the Florida murder. During interviews, they gave information leading investigators to believe they were involved in the Landrum murders.

Both are charged with three counts of Murder in the deaths of 59-year-old Francis Richards, Fred "Junior" Richards, and 23-year-old Nathan Poffenberger.

The three were killed during the early morning hours of January 20 at the Richards' home on Landrum Mill Road.

According to warrants, the victims were struck with a "lethal cutting weapon."

Spartanburg County investigators interviewed Taylor and Sluss and were able to obtain a confession for the triple homicide.

Taylor and Sluss are also charged with Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime and Armed Robbery by Spartanburg County deputies.

The Sheriff did not release a motive in the murders.


Taylor and Sluss, along with Taylor's brother Gary, were arrested in connection with the murder of 47-year-old Douglas John Bowling, whose body was found near an orange grove south of Ft. Mead, FL.

According to Polk County investigators, Gary and Kristina told them that Christopher beat Bowling with a skillet until it broke, before getting an aluminum bat and beating him until he was unconscious.

Investigators say Christopher continued to beat the victim each time he regained consciousness and then strangled him.

Gary and Kristina told investigators that Christopher beat the victim for one and a half to two hours.

Bowling's body was then put into plastic bags by Christopher and Gary and into the bathtub before the three of them went to Christopher and Gary's father's house for dinner, investigators say.

Polk Co. investigators say they returned to the apartment, put the body in the trunk of a car, and left it in a remote location off of Old Bowling Green Road.

In Polk County, Christopher Taylor was charged with First Degree Murder, Tampering with Evidence, and False Statement in a Capital Felony.

Gary Taylor and Kristina Sluss were charged with Accessory after the Fact and Tampering with Evidence in Polk County.

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